Its my (blog) birthday

Today marks a year since I wrote my first blog here. Yay!

A lot has happened since then, diet & exercise regimes have come and gone along with a couple of “friends” but the most notable thing is my mental health.

This time last year I was on anti depressants wondering if I would ever be able to come off them, then I did and spent quite a bit of time thinking should I go back on them and finally, now I feel in a good place. I feel the most positive and happy me since god knows when. I am managing to stick to my resolutions/goals and am slowly learning how to actually look after myself without feeling selfish and its bloody great.

I am starting to feel like I am getting my act together, I have a nice little routine in place at the beginning of each week I make a meal plan and order my shopping in, I put a plan to exercise in for a few mornings per week, although I don’t stress about this too much as I do walk for 3 miles as part of my commute to work, I’ve set up reminders on my phone for silly things like to remember to take my lunch or vitamins (these are the things that really annoy me when I forgot as they are so little! But one forgotten lunch can equal a cheeseburger if I’m not careful!) Having a routine, for me, is a huge factor. Dont get me wrong, I like to be spontaneous every now and again, but just the fact that I have an idea of what is going on in my life, such as what I am going to dinner, is somewhat comforting. So tonight, I shall celebrate my blog birthday by going home and getting in my PJs, making a syn free cottage pie and if I am feeling really wild, I might have a muller light after. I can’t wait!!!

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I have to say, at the risk of sounding like a complete killjoy, I am glad it’s all over.

I am not going to write about the things I thought I was going to write about, such as how I have gone from being Mrs Christmas to Scrooge, or how I keep having very bizarre, vivid dreams. Nope, I am going to wipe the slate clean and look forward, instead of back.

So I admit it, I am one of those New Year, New Me people this year. I have set my goals for the year so I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Lose weight. Oh yes, everybodys favourite! Since meeting my boyfriend I have put on over 2 stone and it really gets to me. This year however, I have a huge incentive. I’m getting married!! Although I have ordered my dress and it looks lovely as I am now, I am not happy with the way I am. I don’t want to go out as much anymore as I never feel nice in my clothes and I hate shopping as it is but the awful feeling of trying stuff on and it’s too tight or just looks horrible does not help my mental state at all. I have been doing slimming world, where I lost 8lb but then have put half back on after having a few weeks off at Christmas, but I am confident that I can shift some serious weight, without starving myself, in fact I eat more now than ever!
  2. Get Fit. This actually has nothing to do with weight loss, this has more to do with my general health. My joints are aching and I don’t seem to bounce back from illnesses like I used to and once again exercise is good for the mind. The plan is to try to exercise 3 times a week and I would like to mix it up a bit by doing some running, HIIT sessions and even giving yoga a go. This is all in my diary to start next week, I prefer exercising in the mornings as if I wait until I come home I wont do it! If I feel like starting this week I will, I just didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to do everything New Years Day.
  3. Write more. I really do enjoy writing, often I will be somewhere and have the urge to write but am not always able to so I want to try to  make more time for this as I find it really therapeutic. Again I have scheduled some time in my diary for this, I am starting with one lunch time per week and can build it from there, so you should expect to see more of me.
  4. Have more me time. I learned a really good word last year. That word is “NO” It took me a long time to get used to saying that to people, I would feel guilty and end up spending time and money I didn’t have to spend. This year is going to be more about doing the things I want to do and less of the things I don’t want. It’s certainly not going to be easy but I know it will be worth it. I noticed that when I had a lot of things going on, my stress levels would go up and I would be a mess, then once it was all over the anxiety would arrive. More diary time, I’ve scheduled every other Wednesday as my boyfriend plays football on Wednesday nights and every other Sunday when he takes the kids to his parents for the afternoon. This gives me time alone to do whatever I want to.
  5. Be less anxious/stressed. I am hoping that the combination of all of these goals will really help with this one. I am finding that if I get stressed it goes from 0-100 it affects my sleep, my relationships, everything. The same with the anxiety. For this my plan is to do all of the above plus perhaps slip a bit of meditation into my routine, this can easily be done on my commute to work

I know it seems like I have put a lot of things on my to do list and in my diary but I am very much a routine person and once its in there I don’t even think about it. I have told myself I am not going to be too rigid, there are going to be occasions when I simply cannot do it all, but the aim of the game is small baby steps, if I find that something isn’t working, I’ll change it, just as long as I try.

I like to use tools and apps for everything too. For the weight loss I am a member Slimming World and got a lovely organiser for Christmas to help with this from Princess Planning I also set up my own Instagram account purely for my weight loss and that really helps, plus I don’t bore all my friends with my food pics as they go on there.

I downloaded the You App to my phone which gives you little daily tasks to do, I love stuff like this and there is no pressure to do them it’s just a nice idea.

I also downloaded an app called reflectly which is like a micro journal, it asks you a couple of questions at the end of each day, such as things you are grateful for and how you rate the day.

I also have a couple of books to fill in. I bought 52 lists last year and kept forgetting to do it so now I have a reminder for Sunday morning to take some time each week to complete my list.

And finally, the last thing I do before I go to bed each night is to complete my one line a day diary which my life coach friend bought for Xmas. I love it and already started it last  night.

So those are my goals for the coming year, what are yours?

 

The Hole

I haven’t been on here for a while, a combination of wedding stuff, work and being generally fed up. I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend about depression and the only way I could describe it is like this.

There is this hole, it’s always there, most days I’m sitting on the edge of the hole with my legs dangled in, the whole point of every single day is to not fall into it and it’s not as easy and you would think. Some days I am in the hole with my arms trying to hold myself up, these days are quite exhausting and I have to fight so hard not to fall, I get into a panic because I really don’t want to be in the hole. Other days I am dancing around the hole and some days I can barely see it, but its always there. Then, there is the inevitable day when my arms give up and I fall in, these are the worst days, there is no ladder in the hole, I know I will eventually get out but my mind is so clouded in panic or sadness that it seems impossible, nothing is good when I’m in the hole, it’s so dark I cannot see any light and I just want to curl up and stay there forever as sometimes trying to get out is just too hard.

I found having this conversation with him has really helped, he seems to understand more. I was walking to work the other day after a particularly sad stint in the hole and I had one arm out of it, I was struggling to find anything positive to think or feel when he sent me a text, just asking how I am feeling and telling me he loved me. It was like something yanking me straight out of the hole and up on my feet, I felt instantly lighter.

Dont get me wrong, I’m fully aware that this may not work all the time and sometimes it doesn’t matter what people say or do, sometimes you’re too far in the hole to notice but just because you’re in the hole it doesnt mean it’s forever, even though it feels like it at the time.

What really helps is someone knowing about the hole, so that when you are in it they can pop their head in and remind you that you’re not alone.

Now I have got to grips with this hole analogy, it does make things a little easier. I can address it and gauge where I am in the hole, I am being mindful I suppose. It’s not going to go away but I can hopefully shorten my time in the hole and maybe eventually stop falling in.

Return of the Baz

I’ve noticed something about my anxiety, which in turn brings Barry back. I’ve noticed that it seems to return when I have a lot going on or stress happening in my life. Thinking about it now it’s hardly a revelation, but previously I’d been so caught up in my thoughts that I hadn’t realised and thought my anxiety was permanent and even better than that it’s made me realise I can control it (yay)

Take this week for example, I am currently an agony aunt to about 3 different people, which I love as I love being there for my friends. My boyfriends ex is being a total pain and using the children as weapons again, one of his close family members is going through a break up and one of his friends has some mental health issues, we’re going away for the weekend with the kids which is always quite stressful trying to get packed etc as we always end up arguing and to top it all off I am struggling to stay on plan.

I woke up the early hours on Wednesday morning to thunder & lightening and then couldn’t get back to sleep as Barry was now wide awake. I decided to get up and exercise even though Barry was insisting I do it after work. I told him to shut up, I was doing it this morning. Yes I said it out loud.

I went downstairs, got the laptop fired up, Barry was still blabbing on, literally would not shut up to the point where I was crying, I was tired and usually in this situation Barry would have got his way, as I hadn’t had enough sleep and I felt crap, but I was determined to do this.

After forcing myself through the warm up I realised Barry wasn’t there, he’d gone! I felt like I’d won. I got through the exercises and my mind felt so much clearer so I decided to go over the things Barry was bringing up. Surprisingly I managed to come up with some rational solutions and felt a lot better for it. I decided that I’m going to take my running stuff away with me, if Barry makes an appearance I’m going to take him for a run and try and lose him.

On a side note, I found this six day challenge online that explains this all really well and you can get your own Barry

http://projectself.com.au/6-days-to-decisiveness

Its so trying when I am always bloody crying

I’ve been off my anti depressants for just over four weeks now. I was pretty happy with the fact that I had very few withdrawal symptoms apart from feeling like my brain was moving about it my head constantly and some very vivid dreams, that was until week 3.

We took the kids away for the bank holiday weekend, which I was quite looking forward to. We had a good weekend, then it was time to come home. Usually I have the following day booked off so that I can catch up with washing and housework etc, but I only had 3 days left to take until the end of the year, so I decided as long as we left early enough I would be ok. So Monday came and as usual everyone is slowly going about their business and getting ready to go swimming, whilst I am frantically trying to pack everyone’s bags as we’re supposed to be out of the apartment by 10, this is at 9:50am. The kids are following me around and getting under my feet and my boyfriend is just wandering around aimlessly as usual. At 11, he was in the shower there was a knock on the door reminding us that we needed to check out. I was still in my PJs waiting to get into the shower. I was stressed! I just wanted to get home, we’d had a busy week the before and I knew the house was in a state and I knew we wouldn’t be home until at least 5pm as we weren’t leaving until 3pm.

My mind kept going over all the things I needed to do, I was exhausted, the walls in the apartment were so thin you had people up at 6am shouting down to someone 3 doors away and the guy next door singing (very badly to his kid) I text my boss and asked for a day’s holiday, I couldn’t cope with living in a pig sty until the following weekend, plus I only get 4 free days a month I didn’t fancy spending one of them cleaning, especially if the weather was going to be nice.

I had the day off and spent the entire day cleaning, I got up around 7 and sat down about 4:30 by that time I would need to start thinking about cooking dinner. I felt a bit resentful that I’d had to use a precious days holiday to do this. Although I felt accomplished I knew the house being in this state wouldn’t last long. I felt a bit angry, I shouldn’t have had to do that. Unfortunately, I did unless I wanted to sit in a mess all week and then give up a precious & rare Saturday or Sunday with my boyfriend.

The following day I woke up and felt so fed up to the point where I got out of the shower and had a little cry. I pulled myself together and got myself to work in hope that I would be distracted.

Distracted I was, it would appear that my colleagues had undergone some brain removal transplant and everyone had forgotten about stuff they needed and now everything was urgent. Usually I thrive on working under pressure I love being against the clock, but today I was not mentally prepared for this. I ranted and swore to my team about everyone’s incompetence and found myself at my desk desperate to burst into tears.

Fuck! I hope I’m not getting depressed again! This sent me into a panic. Whilst I was ok on the tablets and really didn’t have any qualms about going back on, I was disappointed as I had been doing so well.

I was angry and upset with my boyfriend, I felt so very unappreciated, I’d spent the last three bank holiday weekends doing stuff with him & the kids, I felt like I needed a break but I never got one as there was always something that needed doing. I had spoken to him several times about doing more around the house but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears and now I was exhausted. I was tired of moaning to him about it as I was hurt that he couldn’t see how shattered I was, most nights I wasn’t sitting down until 8:30 baring in mind we don’t have the kids in the week. I felt this was all taken for granted. I felt angry that he would come in from work and I’d be cooking or cleaning and he would plonk all his crap on the dining table and sit down in front of the TV then when dinner was ready I’d have to clear the table (again) while he just sat there playing a poxy game on his phone or watching TV. I felt neglected.

There was only one thing to do and that was message my life coach. She was great as usual and just being able to get it all out really helped. My boyfriend had messaged me earlier to say he wasn’t going golf as he’d planned as he was too tired and wanted to come home to me. Whilst this sounds lovely, I couldn’t help thinking that his real reason for coming home was simply because he was tired and nothing to do with me apart from the fact he would be waited on as usual.

To my surprise, he came home with flowers for me as a thank you for cleaning the house. I felt quite happy and that maybe we were getting somewhere. We had a whole weekend together coming up another rare thing as we usually always have something going on, I had been really looking forward to it. Then he decides to say he’s playing golf on Sunday. He’s already said he wanted to do stuff around the house on Saturday so that would have left us Sunday to spend time together. I couldn’t hide my disappointment, I’m not sure I even tried.

He said he wouldn’t go, but that wasn’t the point. He WANTED to go. I’m not going to stop him doing what he wants to do. I’m just gutted that he doesn’t want to do something with me. Especially as I’ve been feeling so shite. But that’s what happens, I pull closer, he moves away.

Anyway, back to the crying. The following day was horrific. I felt like I was back to square one. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t cry. My work friend came over to me at lunchtime and my chin was wobbling I just prayed she didn’t ask me what was wrong! I felt a bit better after that and by mid afternoon I felt ecstatically happy. WTF?! Oh god am I bi-polar?

I decided to look it all up and to my relief it was perfectly normal to feel like this when withdrawing from the tablets. This actually eased my mind a little. Still bloody annoying tho.

The weekend went pretty much the same on a rollercoaster of emotions I was like a leaky tap, I apologised to my boyfriend saying that I knew some of the things I was thinking & were irrational. What I really wanted was to be comforted but I didn’t want to ask for it. I didn’t want to ask for any of it, I just wish he would do some of these things of his own back and not because he is asked.

The uninvited Chimp

So I have spent the last few days feeling really sorry for myself. My mojo is creeping back but that little negative voice in my head aka Barry, is back for a visit and I didn’t bloody invite him.

I have my first ever cold sore, which I am convinced everyone is staring at. I can feel it growing like its its own person, I shall name him Colin if this carries on much longer.

I don’t feel like I have lost any weight or inches coming to the end of cycle one, even though I have still drank a fair amount of booze and had a few takeaways so probably shouldnt be surprised. This is making me panic as I have a hen do, a wedding and a girls weekend away coming up in about 6 weeks and everything I wear makes me look like a bound up piece of meat

Meat

I havent slept very well for the last few nights which I think is making my head whirl, it’s just constant chatter in my head: “Dont forget to….” “What if …. happens?” “Why did …. do/say that?” and the very popular “Why isnt ….. replying to my message?” Oh its been such fun! My boyfriend is then talking about going out for a few drinks after work, which my initial (internal) reaction was not very good. “Is he going to come home late? Is he going to be ok? I something going to happen? I mean he only said he might go out!? I he even going??”

Then I realised that Barry the Bastard isn’t in charge of me anymore! I went against him and messaged my friend and felt instantly better, then started thinking about what I was going to watch on TV, what I was going to make myself for dinner, house to myself YAY!!!! Screw you Barry!! You’re certainly not invited to sit on the sofa with me and watch 13 reasons why, you and Colin can eff right off.

 

Misery does not love company

I’ve fallen down a slippery slope and completely lost my mojo. I am now on a vicious cycle of having good intentions, treating myself, hating myself and then feeling guilty about anything & everything. What a time to be alive.

I was doing so well on my plan but I have seem to have lost my get up and go. I’m not sure if it’s because I am coming off of my tablets, because I am tired or because I am still unable to fully avoid booze. I feel great when I exercise and eat well but for some reason it’s not enough to keep me going at the moment, I took Saturday off of the plan as we were out for the day and one day off has now turned into 4. God damn you bank holiday weekend!

I woke up on Sunday feeling depressed, I didn’t want to go anywhere, I didnt want to see anyone, I just wanted to shut myself away BUT this does not include my boyfriend, why can’t he get this? Why does he not telepathically know that I need him to just come check on me every now and then, instead of avoiding me as if I am some unexploded time bomb.

I decided to have a bit of a pamper and declutter my bedroom, as we had the kids and I didn’t have the patience for dealing with whose go it was on the computer or who pushed who. I want them to like me and at the time I think I would have just thrown the computer out of the window to settle any arguments, then no one would like me.

My boyfriend getting ready in lightening speed, in my head this was to avoid me, but in actual fact he was running late, I decided I didn’t actually want to stay in on my own, I wanted to go with them to his parents, sitting in all day alone wasnt going to lift my mood.

I went and had a nice day, but this resulted in more drinking and me going home alone crying myself to sleep for no apparent reason.

The following day all I wanted was some peace and quiet, I need a day to just collect myself and get my house in order so that I could go back to work without feeling like I had a thousand things to do. Unfortunately, this wasnt going to happen. The entire weekends washing up was still on the side in the kitchen and the laundry basket was overflowing but I just can’t get anything done when the kids are in the house and with the weather against me I had no choice but to resign to my bedroom whilst they all played the computer and watched wrestling downstairs, I wasnt in the mood to compromise today. I finally went down to cook them all dinner and give in to a glass of wine.

It helped, until this morning when I felt even worse. I’ve had a moan to a few of my friends and have cancelled my plans for the evening so I can literally get my house in order and start again tomorrow. Hopefully the black cloud will piss off and my mojo will return.

Moody Monday

Last night I made myself some overnight oats, which was actually a great trick as when I tried to have my usual argument with myself this morning about shall I exercise or stay in bed, I had to get up because I had to have my refuel meal. I decided to go up to level 3 on the Joe Wicks DVD, bloody hell, who thought that 5 seconds more could make such a difference? Feeling achey, but all please with myself, I got ready for work and enjoyed my oatsIMG_6489

I was in pretty happy mood for a Monday, work was pretty quiet so I thought I would go online and look for some outfits for my birthday dinner with the boyfriend on Friday. I’m not sure if this was the trigger, as I did find it quite depressing looking at all these slim women and all these lovely dresses and knowing that I was not going to be able to wear any of them but suddenly the black cloud arrived, I had managed to avoid it for the last few days but now it was well and truly here.

By the time I finished work I was a really bad mood and I really didn’t know why!! I felt really fed up, angry & tearful. I wondered if it was a booze comedown from the weekend but I didn’t drink anymore than a normal weekend. I’m already blaming my boyfriend for being moody at the weekend and spending the entire time on the computer with the kids, I worked it out that the entire time the kids were awake and in the house, they were on the computer. Me, I just cleaned up.

I hated feeling like this and havent felt this bad since being on my tablets, it was literally a rollercoaster of emotions, by the time I got home I wanted to cry. To make matters worse, my boyfriend ended up having to work a bit late, which usually I wouldn’t care about and be happy to have the extra time to myself, but today I wanted him home, I don’t even know why as really I just wanted to shout at him for no reason whatsoever.

After being home for about an hour he messaged me to say he was on the train, so I decided to get dinner on the go. Normally I would offer to go and pick him up but I was so pissed off and fed up I decided he could walk for once. Childish I know.

He came home and seemed in a fairly good mood which made me feel a little bit better, we chatted a bit and he asked me how my day was, so I was honest and told him how I was feeling, I left out the part where he was to blame for everything that was wrong with the world, I didn’t think that would help matters. He gave me a big cuddle and we sat and had a nice chilled night together, along with my cheesy meatballs. Heres hoping to a better day tomorrow.IMG_6495

Communication Calamity

Today is a new day. Thank God.

After yesterday’s post, a good of friend gave me her honest opinion of the situation with my boyfriend and I realised that he is not totally to blame and I am certainly not blameless.

One of my best skills at work is communication, I have to deal with a lot of different people and always get good feedback on my communication skills. I also like to think I’m good at this with friends as well, I’m good at staying in touch with people and rarely fall out with people, so why am I so terrible at it in my relationship?

After yesterday barely speaking all day I was still frustrated and angry. I had plans to meet a friend for dinner and he was playing football. I wasn’t planning on drinking as I wanted to be healthy and also because I was so annoyed, but this was also the reason that I wanted to drink. I wanted to get away from the angry tearful feeling, so I went to lunch with a friend and had a couple of glasses of red. Ooh that felt better. Mistake No. 1

Mistake No. 2 came later when I decided to continue with the ridiculous idea to have share more wine with my friend, I thought I was ok.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I got home just before my boyfriend, it wasn’t even late, I kicked off. I’ll be completely honest with you, it was a blur, I couldn’t tell you half the things I said, what I do know is they were said in anger, I was in a rage I have not felt for a long time, it was most definately not a welcome feeling, this was the thing I had battled so hard to get rid of, why had it come back!!! Eff Off!!!!

I don’t know if anyone has ever had this, but its like being possessed, its a rage so great your whole body feels tense and you things come out of your mouth that you’re not even thinking, or at least you were not aware you are. Its a horrible feeling and an even more horrible thing for someone else to be on the receiving end of. It ended with me in a heap on the floor in uncontrollable tears, apologising to my poor boyfriend.

I cannot describe how ashamed and upset I am about all of this. I feel like I have failed, not only myself but him as well. I was doing so so well.

After a good nights sleep and then finally having a conversation with me explaining myself properly and not raising my voice (I don’t even realise I am doing this half the time) I feel like we have progressed slightly. My friend had read yesterdays blog and messaged me a very long message, which I am so grateful for, she was completely honest and didn’t try to sugarcoat anything and it was just what I needed. I realised as I was replying to her message, that if I could just have explained all this to my boyfriend the way I was explaining to her, then none of this would have happened! So that’s exactly what I did, I sent him a long message, explaining myself, clearly and in a friendly non-accusing, non-aggressive way, pointing out that I was now aware that I clearly have trouble communicating with him and that I would work on this and also that I would make more effort at the weekends when we have the children and not just go off in a sulk. I also said that I hadn’t been feeling myself over the last week and that perhaps it was the after effects of the alcohol.

So, to sum up, alcohol is now going to be kept to a minimum and for nights out and absolutely not when I am in a crappy frame of mind. More effort to be made to communicate better and involve myself more at weekends with the children.

I’m going to sleep bloody well tonight!

I’m (fairly) normal.

I woke up the next morning full of apprehension, today was going to be make or break, I was starting my anti-depressants. I hated taking tablets, a headache would have to be pretty bad for me to reach for the paracetamol, I don’t know where it came from, maybe the evil doctor that used to stick a spoon down the back of my throat during my examinations as a child brought on this fear of pills, especially the big ones, Oh I hadn’t even thought to look at the size of them!! Luckily, they were a normal size, which I swallowed with a fizzy drink (the bubbles stop you feeling it go down – little tip there for you.) The doctor had gone through the side effects but I never usually suffered from any of those things, that just didn’t happen to me.

I got into work and was feeling an unusual lack of appetite, maybe it was the anxiety of the morning and taking the first tablet, oh well, I certainly wont starve without breakfast, in fact I could do with losing a few pounds. By lunchtime, I was feeling a bit sick, probably because I hadn’t had any breakfast, so I took myself off to lunch. When I got there I just didn’t want to eat anything, I love food and never miss lunch, its my time to meet with friends and have something good to eat, plus I still felt sick. I forced myself to eat a salad (I am queen salad dodger by the way, they bore me) but the sickness lingered and I was now exhausted.

I got home and didn’t have the energy to cook a dinner, so we got a takeaway, which I barely touched and I went to bed, still feeling sick. After another day of feeling sick & tired, I decided to look up the side effects, I remembered the doctor saying side effects could last up to a week or so. There we had it, tiredness & nausea. Maybe I was making myself feel worse just by looking at the symptoms? Dont read any more, you might start getting those too!

The sickness & tiredness lasted over a week, I even went home from work one day, on the plus side I was too exhausted to be anxious about anything. Then the fog slowly lifted, I didn’t notice it at first, I guess because you don’t really notice that little voice in your head unless it’s there. I remember the first time I realised that the tablets were actually working, my boyfriend said something that would normally have annoyed me and I would have snapped at him and probably gone off in a sulk, but I did something completely unexpected to both of us, I laughed, I dont know who was more shocked. Then I started to notice it more and more. The things that would usually bother me or make me anxious unnecessarily, werent. I kept waiting for this nice, relaxed me to disappear but it didnt, it hasnt.

I have now been on the tablets for 6 months. Dont get me wrong, if I havent had enough sleep, I’m hungry or hormonal I still get pissed off or tearful, but only like a NORMAL person. For the first time in god knows how long I felt sane and rational and also very very sorry for my poor boyfriend, who although not perfect, had literally been my rock. I honestly don’t think anyone else would have put up with the lunatic that I was. I went for a review in December and the doctor said he didn’t want to take me off of them over Christmas as that isn’t an ideal time and I am to go for a review at the end of next month to start coming off of them. I’ll admit, I am nervous about slipping into my old ways, but if I do, I know there is help, that I can get through it and that I am not alone.